Growing up, I always wanted girls. But I ended up with BOYS and GIRL.
My girl is a one-off – different from the boys, but also, I’m learning, different from other girls too. We don’t have much to do with girls in the plural. We only know our girl. We assumed she was like all other girls, but she isn’t.
My girl has an incredible concentration span. For years she has lived in her middle brother’s shadow – he’s the bright one, the multi-talented one. But she is multi-talented too. Where she is ‘only’ the (to use her words) ‘second cleverest in the class’, she is brilliant at dancing and drawing and anything at all she attempts. She learns through concentration, hard work and determination.
Right now most of her efforts are engaged with these – Usborne sticker dolly dressing books. What started as an occassional thing has snowballed and she now has a voracious appetite for these things, getting through two books a week. Thank goodness she hadn’t spent any pocket money for months! There is only book left she hasn’t got. No doubt she will buy it this weekend.
It started at Christmas. She got five sticker books for Christmas and was holed up in the house and away from her poorly family, so she did sticker books She finished them and she bought more sticker books. She does them at a 100 miles an hour, but so carefully. She is systematic. She sits in her bedroom on her own for hours, sticking away.
I thought all girls were like this. But they’re not. Our relentless schedule of after school activities means my daughter rarely has friends round to play – leaving me unable to observe what girls are really like.
On the rare occassions we have had girls round, I’ve enjoyed listening to their conversations and observing their behaviour.
Girls like to make mess. Girls like to dress up. Girls tell lies. Girls draw like my daughter drew two years ago. Girls don’t like to sit still and give 100% concentration to sticker books.
To the untrained eye, my daughter’s bedroom is untidy. But it is organised chaos. She knows where everything is and where everything belongs. It stresses her out when friends come round and get toys out and move things around. She has a massive dolls’ house she has never played with. Full of Littlest Pet Shops she has never played with. Friends love this. My daughter hates that they love it, hates that they mess it up.
One girl came round who was desperately trying to compare her life to my daughter’s.
My daughter was telling her about her dance classes. So this girl told her about her dance classes. Which clearly didn’t exist. My girl told her friend the name of her dance school.
‘Mine isn’t called that,’ she said, pausing and desperately searching for something to say. ‘Mine’s just called…. (big pause) ballet.’
Girls, eh? Mine makes perfect sense to me and the others are a mystery.
I wrote this post in response to a prompt on The Gallery over at Sticky Finger. Pop over to see how other people have interpreted the theme of girls.